Forging Ahead: Meet the Young Blacksmith Who’s Turning Ancient Craft into Modern Artwork

“It is not glamorous or easy work, in fact it’s hot, sweaty and dirty, but the final products you can create are a direct result of your physical efforts and imagination, making it all worthwhile”.
Entrepreneurs & Professionals
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17 December 2019

When we think of blacksmiths, the typical image is that of a leather-aproned man pounding out a horseshoe with coke fires and power hammers. What we don’t often imagine is anything artistic, modern or female. Until now.

Meet Katie Ventress, an award-winning artist-blacksmith who’s made her name forging elegant, soulful and unexpected objects using fire, anvils and metal. She’s been hammering out her creations for eight-and-a-half years, the seeds of her passion planted while taking a 3D Contemporary Craft class at college. Now she has a studio, KV Artist Blacksmith, offering handmade, one-of-a- kind metal artwork for the home and garden. “From tiny, delicate miniatures to furniture and large garden features, I can craft high quality pieces to last more than a lifetime!
 

Forged with Love in Fire and Metal

 

Katie’s customers usually consist of businesses that are looking for memorable public designs to attract clients and create a theme for their establishment, and individuals who are looking for something meaningful and personal for their home. Katie’s proud that her customers “understand the value of handcrafted products over mass produced and want something that reflects their taste and personality, helping to put their own mark on their home and surroundings ” —an ethos that Katie shares.

Intrigued by a craftsperson who could so successfully bridge the gap between art and  functionality, we asked Katie what inspired her, and how she combined the ancient craft of blacksmithing with the decidedly modern craft of metal art. “My main challenge is taking the customers vision and needs and turning that into my own unique design that reflects my own style but is what the customer envisioned,” she told us. “Although this is a challenge, it is also my driving force of experimentation and love of problem solving.
The end products may look amazing but they’re only achieved through hard work and dedication. Katie likes to get her hands dirty and her visceral approach to metal art has earned the young blacksmith some prestigious commissions and a bevy of fans. One of her bigger pieces, a pair of stingrays hand-forged from mild steel at Katie’s studio-cum-forge in Hinderwell, North Yorkshire, featured as the centrepiece of the 2018 Staithes Festival of Art. Television appearances on BBC2’s Made in Great Britain series, Look North and Countryfile have further elevated her career success. Way to go Katie!

 

Gas: The Unsung Hero of the Blacksmith’s Trade

Now, we can’t say that we supply a lot of artist-blacksmith’s studios, but forges and torches sure do need a reliable fuel source! And we’re delighted to have been providing Katie with her fuel needs for just over two years. “I chose Energas as they supplied the business where I was previously employed, the prices are competitive, the stockist is relatively close to me and the customer service and sales representatives are friendly and helpful,” Katie told us. “Energas has always provided me with honest pricing that I feel I can trust; they are always easy to contact and always ready to help. It is nice to know that I do not need to shop around for the best deals. I couldn’t be happier!”

A personal experience from friendly sales representative, a helpful and welcoming distributor who is located locally and fair pricing… these are the three main benefits that Katie has experienced when working with Energas.

 

Find the nearest Energas branch to discuss your gas requirements.

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